Family poems

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Mr and Mrs Discobbolos

© Edward Lear

First Part

Mr and Mrs Discobbolos

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Ballad Of The Skeletons

© Allen Ginsberg

Said the Presidential Skeleton
I won't sign the bill
Said the Speaker skeleton
Yes you will

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Hyperion. Book II

© John Keats

Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings

Hyperion slid into the rustled air,

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Rhymed Plea For Tolerance - Dialogue I

© John Kenyon

  Yet the heart vents still more indignant blame,
  Where Lawgivers their sullen codes proclaim,
  And idly would constrain the creed within,
  As if Belief were Crime, and Tolerance—Sin.

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How Little Red Riding Hood Came To Be Eaten

© Guy Wetmore Carryl

The Moral: There's nothing much glummer
Than children whose talents appall:
One much prefers those who are dumber,
But as for the paragons small,
If a swallow cannot make a summer
It can bring on a summary fall!

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Grandpa Vogt’s—1959 by Ben Vogt : American Life in Poetry #247 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Lau

© Ted Kooser

Family photographs, how much they do capture in all their elbow-to-elbow awkwardness. In this poem, Ben Vogt of Nebraska describes a color snapshot of a Christmas dinner, the family, impatient to tuck in, arrayed along the laden table. I especially like the description of the turkey. Grandpa Vogt’s-1959

The food is on the table. Turkey tanned

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The Cynotaph

© Richard Harris Barham

Poor Tray charmant!
Poor Tray de mon Ami!
- Dog-bury, and Vergers.

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Farmer Whipple--Bachelor

© James Whitcomb Riley

It's a mystery to see me--a man o' fifty-four,
Who's lived a cross old bachelor fer thirty year' and more--
A-lookin' glad and smilin'!  And they's none o' you can say
That you can guess the reason why I feel so good to-day!

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Blue Moles

© Sylvia Plath

1

They're out of the dark's ragbag, these two

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An Apology To Dr. Clayton, Bishop Of Killala, And His Lady

© Mary Barber

No longer let Rome her old Argument boast,
That by Marriage the End of the Priesthood is lost;
That, toil'd and entangled in Family Cares,
The Clergy forget their celestial Affairs:
For, had she known Delia, she must have confess'd,
That the Church, in the Marriage of Prelates, was bless'd.

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Christmas Eve

© Mathilde Blind

But I-a waif on earth where'er I roam-
Uprooted with life's bleeding hopes and fears
From that one heart that was my heart's sole home,
Feel the old pang pierce through the severing years,
And as I think upon the years to come
That fair star trembles through my falling tears.

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The Ring And The Book - Chapter III - The Other Half-Rome

© Robert Browning

ANOTHER DAY that finds her living yet,

Little Pompilia, with the patient brow

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A Family Record

© Oliver Wendell Holmes

WOODSTOCK, CONN., JULY 4, 1877

NOT to myself this breath of vesper song,

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Witchcraft: New Style

© Lascelles Abercrombie

The first voice, in that silent crowd, was hers,
Her light snickering laugh, as she stood there
Pausing, scanning the sawdust at her feet.
Then she switcht round and faced the positive man
Whose strong 'She cannot do it!' all still felt
Huskily shouting in their guilty ears.

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Titmarsh’s Carmen Lilliense

© William Makepeace Thackeray

My heart is weary, my peace is gone,
 How shall I e'er my woes reveal?
I have no money, I lie in pawn,
 A stranger in the town of Lille.

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The Ring And The Book - Chapter XII - The Book And The Ring

© Robert Browning

HERE were the end, had anything an end:

Thus, lit and launched, up and up roared and soared

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Black Mousquetaire: A Legend Of France

© Richard Harris Barham

No triumphs flush that haughty brow,-
No proud exulting look is there,-
His eagle glance is humbled now,
As, earthward bent, in anxious care
It seeks the form whose stalwart pride
But yester-morn was by his side!

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Paradise Regain'd : Book III.

© John Milton

So spake the Son of God; and Satan stood
A while as mute, confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted and convinced
Of his weak arguing and fallacious drift;

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The Task: Book III. -- The Garden

© William Cowper

As one who, long in thickets and in brakes

Entangled, winds now this way and now that

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The Intellectual

© Karl Shapiro


The man behind the book may not be man,
His own man or the book’s or yet the time’s,
But still be whole, deciding what he can
In praise of politics or German rimes;